Reduce Stress by Learning to Say No
There is a very powerful tool that we can use to better manage the amount of stress that we experience in everyday life. It’s not really a tool, it’s more of a response.
Can you guess what it is? No?
Yes, that’s right, No!
‘No’, by its very definition is a word that ‘ends, closes off, or discontinues a line of thought or conversation’. Quite obviously, it negates things. So regarding the topic of stress, we can use ‘No’ to reduce the effect that it has on us, to lower its levels and even stop it from ever having the chance to arise within our bodies and minds.
It should be obvious to us that if we can say ‘No’, we can stop ourselves from getting overwhelmed. If someone asks us to do some work for them and we say ‘Yes’, now we have to commit ourselves to goals, deadlines, and expectations and so we encounter either small or great amounts of stress.
However, if we say ‘No’ in exactly the same situation, then quite simply we don’t. We don’t take on-board the desires of the other person, we don’t put ourselves under the pressure of their expectations, and we don’t allow our own freedom to be taken by goals, objectives, and tasks. All of this is the result of just saying ‘No’.
It’s Harder For Some Than Others
Saying ‘No’ comes easy to some people but not everybody has the ability to decline the offers or requests of others. To some people, saying ‘No’ leads them into an inner guilt spiral whereby they think they are being selfish and so they inevitably say ‘Yes’ and end up either being overwhelmed, manipulated or acting against their inner resolve.
In either case, it’s important to know when to say ‘No’ and it’s just as important to have the ability to say ‘No’ when you want to.
In order to effectively say ‘No’ to potentially stress-inducing situations, we have to have a clear understanding of our abilities and limitations.
To do this we must reflect upon ourselves and be honest with what we can and can’t do.
No, No, No, A Thousand Times No
If you have a solid grasp of your limitations then you are able to say ‘Yes’ up to a point, and when you reach that point you are then able to say ‘No’ to ensure that you don’t end up being overwhelmed.
To ascertain your ability and to understand to which level you are able to cope with stress, you must become a keen observer of yourself. You must learn to recognize the exact moment when things become too much. It is at this moment when you need to say ‘No’.
‘No’ is what will stop you from going any further into allowing the stress levels to reach a critical level. If you have observed yourself closely, enough you will know exactly when this moment arises because up to that point you will have been managing your stress levels perfectly fine.
after that point, however, you will have noticed a change in your inner mindset. You will have noticed greater levels of tension and even anxiety, frustration, irritability and possibly anger occurring within you.
You know you have allowed yourself to be pushed too far. You should have said ‘No’ a few moments ago and if you had, you wouldn’t be in this stressful situation now.
No, Just Do It!
When you have recognized your limitations through careful observation of your inner and outer stress levels, all you have to do is develop the ability, to be honest with yourself and with the people around you.
If you can be honest and openly admit when you are at maximum capacity, then you will be better able to just say ‘No’ to any more added pressure and stress.
I know it sounds simple and that’s because it is, but there are many variables that you have to take into account. Some of these are…
• Your own desire, meaning if you allow yourself to get carried away with what you want, you might end up taking on extra stress because you really want something, later to find out you overloaded yourself and burnt out.
• Other people’s persuasiveness, meaning people will do and say anything they can to get you to agree to their demands. Just remember, if you give an inch, they will take a stress-inducing mile.
• Your own ignorance, meaning you may not have known exactly what you were getting yourself into when you agreed to something. If this is the case, just get out and re-awaken your ‘’No’
Warrior’ as soon as you realize that you’re in too deep. You’ll be much better off in the long run.
From here on out you are going to develop your own ‘No, Thank You’ Mantra.
Use it whenever someone approaches you and tries to persuade you to do something you don’t want to do or that you just don’t have the ability to do because you’re already maxed out.
You can even use it on people who give you negative opinions and comments or even arguments.
Just say ‘No, Thank You’ and walk away.
Doing this will show you that you really do have the power to effectively manage your stress; all you have to do is … Say NO!